One of the reasons I love Brookhaven is because it has a walkable downtown. It is great to be able to walk to the post office, bank and library, to shop for gifts and eat at a restaurant without using a car. Leaving the car parked does a lot of good for us--saves gas, saves wear on the car and the street, reduces pollution, and improves our fitness. My wife and I try to walk several miles every day. I think that including walking as a part of your everyday life makes you and your community healthier.
Inviting, people-friendly public spaces don't just happen, they are created by the community and its leaders. As the folks at the Project for Public Spaces say, "If you plan for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places." Another good on-line resource for people friendly ideas is Walkable Communities. And downtown Brookhaven has its own blog, Downtown Brookhaven by Jay Perkins.
All these thoughts on walking have been inspired by a new book, Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. While the book is not the definitive work on the subject, it is a good place for historical information concerning walking as a part of our social fabric. Solnit does wear her agenda on her sleeve sometimes, but the book is an interesting look at a pedestrian subject.
10 hours ago